I'm awoken from a consistent ping on the french doors leading out to my balcony. Angrily I shove off my covers, I'm prepared to give Cole a piece of my mind. I glance at my book bag on my desk. I'm tempted to steal a cigarette from the pack I stole from my brother. I smoked half of it already directly after my mother's funeral. I was never intending to smoke them again, but just to keep my younger brother from doing it. I decide against it it would only provide me with a temporary calm and besides my neighbor to feel the full impact of my anger.
I throw open the french doors, and step out in the balcony just in time to be hit in the eye with a bouncy ball. I swear under my breath holding my eye.
Cole rushes to the defense, “Hayden I'm so sorry.”
Before I can say anything back, he's climbing up on the railing of his balcony, and jumping over to mine. He lands gracefully. I try to glare at him, but with one squinty eye right now it loses it's effect. “ I don't want your company” I warn.
He inches away from me. “Fair enough. Please let me look at your eye.” His body tenses up. He keeps his arms crossed and doesn't move his feet, but awkwardly leans forward. His face coming at mine.
“Hey!” I shout, “Are you trying to kiss me?”
Cole leans away from me. “No, if I were trying to kiss you you'd know.”
I blush and try not to read into that.
“I'm trying not to touch you.” He adds.
“Fine by me, like I want you touching me.” I mutter
“ You didn't seem to mind when I was saving your life.” He challenges.
“ Yea well maybe you shouldn't have, I know it was an inconvenience to you-”
“Hayden!” He interrupts, “First let me say, I don't want you to kill yourself, and I don't think that's what your intention was last week. Am I right?”
I nod impatiently, waiting for him to get to the point.
“Do you have any idea what you did to me that day when you touched me”
“Come again?” I ask hoping he wasn't trying to come onto me and wondering if I could scream loud enough to wake dad.
He reads my expression and puts his hands up in a surrendering gesture , “No, no, no, no, no. Not that.” He sighs “Your not going to believe this..” He mutters a swear word under his breath.
“ When I saw you yesterday I was whispering an incantation to ward off spirits.”
I raise my eyebrow, maybe he was crazy. In that case this may be a delicate situation for him. I take a deep breath, “ I'm sure you put the spirits to bay.” I take a look around. “Yes see their all gone. Goodnight Cole.”
“Hayden you have to listen to me I'm not crazy, don't patronize me.” He says his voice full of anxiety. Our eyes meet and the wild desperation in his stare has me up against a wall.
“Go on.” I say after a moment's pause, all kidding aside.
He takes a moment to steady his breath. “There's no easy way to put this, so I'm just going to just come right out and say it. When I touch you I see dead people.”
The weight of his words have me taking another step back, I try to smile but it falters, “Are you sure their not angels, because that would be a much better pick up line.”